NICK Montgomery has urged Sheffield United not to sell their rising stars as they brace themselves for a flurry of interest in Micky Adams’ squad.
Montgomery, whose own future at Bramall Lane is shrouded in doubt, last night admitted the South Yorkshire club will “look at the wage bill and cut its cloth accordingly” this summer irrespective of whether Championship survival is achieved.
But the midfielder insisted teenagers such as Jordan Slew, Harry Maguire and academy goalkeeper George Long must be declared off limits to avoid a repeat of the fury which greeted the sale of Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker to Spurs two years ago.
“Sheffield United, like a lot of others, have been a selling club lately,” said Montgomery.
“We let both Kyles go and now one (Naughton) is on loan at Leicester and the other (Walker) is getting in the England squad.
“If we’d have kept them then who knows, but that’s football. I’ve had chances to leave in the past but the grass isn’t always greener.”
Montgomery, who is set to captain Adams’ side against Barnsley today, cited injuries, a lack of stability, individual errors and an over-reliance on loans as reasons behind their perilous predicament. United must win and hope results elsewhere go their way to avoid relegation.
Slew, Maguire and fellow youngster Danny Philliskirk could all feature.
“I’m not saying they’ll all come through and be regulars but they’ve shown the right attitude,” added Montgomery. “As captain, they’ve been a breath of fresh air.
“It reminds me of when me, Michael Tonge and Phil Jagielka all came through. But we’ve also got to bring in some decent players around them.
“Instead of bringing in loans, these lads might be what the club needs.”
With Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny rejecting new contracts at Leeds, United’s arch-rivals are expected to make an official approach for Montgomery shortly. Simon Grayson, Adams’ counterpart at Elland Road, has tracked the 29-year-old for the past 12 months.
“I’m just concentrating on our last two games and trying to keep us up,” said Montgomery.